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The Runaway World

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 22 June 2010

4. The Runaway World

In the last Reith Lecture of 2010, Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society and Astronomer Royal, explores how fast our world is moving in the 21st century. Speaking at the Open University in Milton Keynes, the home of online learning, he acknowledges how the internet and other technologies have transformed our lives. Now he calls on politicians and other authorities to provide the funding that will keep the UK among the world's front runners in scientific research and discovery. Without money and without education to attract young people into science, the UK is in danger of falling behind China and other countries in the Far East that are investing heavily in their science and technology sectors. Professor Rees ends his series of lectures evoking memories of the 'glorious' Ely Cathedral, near Cambridge, a monument built to last a thousand years. If we, like the cathedral builders, redirect our energies and focus on the long-term, he believes together we can solve the problems that face our planet, and secure its future for billions of people worldwide and for generations to come.
Producer: Kirsten Lass
Editor: Sue Ellis.



    During each Tuesday broadcast of the Reith Lectures the Radio 4 blog will host a live debate between 8.30 and 10am. You can also share your thoughts by following @reith_lectures on Twitter, tweet using "#reith", or email thereithlectures@bbc.co.uk

    Read and post comments on the fourth lecture


    You can read and download the transcripts of Lord Martin Rees' series of lectures, Scientific Horizons.

    Read the lecture transcripts
  • The Open University

    The Open University

    What would a Reith lecture have covered 100 years ago? Uncover science in the past, in the present, and in the future.

    Find out more from the OU website



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